File this Motion and Affidavit Contempt (Failure to Pay Child Support) when you want to ask that the court jail the other parent for failure to pay. Because failure to pay contempt charges rarely produce the results that moms want and need when trying to collect back child support, my strategy has never been to use this as a means of direct collection. Usually what happens is that the other parent will appear and claim to have an inability to pay for some reason and the court will allow them to make a “purge payment” of a ridiculously low amount of money and the deadbeat goes free again. Instead, in my view, the contempt of court filing should instead be viewed as a means of leverage, used in addition to all of the other direct measures of collections to add pressure to the other parent, until they collapse under the many pressures and payments commence.
Remember that the court does not have to approve your request for contempt. It is a request only. It is your job to make the court agree with you that this person deserves to be held in contempt for ignoring the court order. You can do that on your Motion and Affidavit in the space provided.
Here are the steps:
- Download the Motion and Affidavit form from the Document Library
- Complete the form. See a sample in the Sample Letters/ Language and Forms Section
- Attach a copy of the Show Cause Form from the Document Library
- Have the forms notarized if the clerk in your area requires them to be. Call and ask.
- Make two copies of the forms
- File the forms at the clerk’s office
- Serve the other parent with a copy of your Motion & Affidavit, Show Cause Order and Writ of Summons (if your area requires it – ask.)
- In some areas the form will be signed right there on the spot. In some areas, you will be asked to wait to speak with a judge or hearing officer to plead your case as to why the Motion should be filed and in other areas, you will file the papers and then leave. If your Motion is signed, it will be returned to you in the mail, along with the date for the court hearing.
- Appear in court